IB Candidacy Update

Apr 8th, 2016

We are coming near the end of our first year of our official IB implementation as a candidate school. We wanted to share some news about our progress so far: 


April 2-4, 2016, Minneapolis Hilton, Official IB Training 

Annunciation’s process for attaining International Baccalaureate authorization is based on a three-year plan. The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) provides a set of criteria against which both the IB World School and the IB can evaluate success. The foundation of what it means to be an IB school is articulated through a set of program standards and practices. 

Some examples of these standards include: 

  • The school provides qualified staff to implement the program(s). 
  • The school ensures that teachers and administrators receive IB-recognized professional development. 
  • The school is committed to a constructivist, inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning that promotes inquiry and the development of critical-thinking skills. 
  • The school is committed to the PYP as the framework for all planning, teaching and learning across the curriculum. 

One of our goals for our first year of candidacy is for all of our K-5 classroom teachers, and administrators to receive IB-recognized training. We are proud to share that as of today, 19 of our 22 elementary classroom teachers, specialists and administrators have received training. 6 of the 22 have participated in multiple levels of training. In addition, we had 2 middle school teachers attend training along with elementary teachers and specialists. 

Another goal for this first year includes staff training in inquiry-based teaching and learning. Earlier this year, our entire staff including classroom teachers, aides, specialists and administrators participated in inquiry training with a nationally known trainer, Nancy Gerber. This past weekend, 5 Annunciation teachers attended IB training around using inquiry in the classroom. As you walk through our hallways and classrooms you will surely notice evidence of this shift in teaching and learning. 

Feedback from two attendees: 

Anne Clubb 

“The biggest beauty I see on the horizon in terms of how the IB approach will benefit the “one-of” support staff, such as myself as Librarian, Julie Loney as Technology Specialist and Scott Glenn as Phy Ed teacher is collaboration. For example we will be able to collaborate more effectively to provide support to classroom teachers as they teach various topics in their unit of inquiry lessons. 

Because the units will be well-identified and 4-6 weeks in length, as support staff we can plan better and work together more efficiently. Timing is improved, our communication is improved and because the units build from year to year, we have the opportunity to plan better, add and improve the materials and resources we will provide to the classroom teachers and their students.” 

Julie Steege 

“The training session we attended was excellent and in my case the trainer had previous experience as a Math Teacher and that wealth of experience made the IB instruction very credible and helpful. As a result of the training, I am excited about the prospect of becoming an IB school but cognizant of the work involved as we bring it all together. 

I love that the process is organic. We began a Unit of Inquiry with a goal in mind but as we worked through the process it turned into something different, but still good. 

After the conference I gave the students a math homework project, which was a “real life experience”. They were to plan a backyard design and were given a budget number and other parameters to limit the boundaries of what they could design. The project provided them with a ton of math and a ton of fun and they loved it. They came back the next day and asked if they could do another assignment like that. How many times do students beg for more homework?!?!?”

Please fell free to contact me with any questions,

Jennifer Cassidy
Annunciation School Principal


Thank you to school staff Anne LaLonde Laux and Chris Frank for contributing to this article.